Or “Kick Ass”, The Movie, if you prefer.

It’s based on a comic book  (graphic novel) by Mark Millar for Marvel, with artwork by John Romita, Jr.

The film features an agreeably quirky performance (does he give any other kind?) by Nicolas Cage, channeling Adam West as a gun-toting costumed nut.

He’s by no means the only one, in a movie where vicious criminals are routinely and brutally dispatched by Cage, and a supporting cast of brightly costumed youngsters – including Aaron Johnson as Kick Ass, the film’s central figure and narrator and, notably, Chloe Moretz as Hit Girl (who inspired the title of this post).

Levels of violence here are on a par with the best (worst?) Japanese martial arts / action flicks.

In this respect, the movie stays faithful to its source material.

Compare the panel below:

"Kick Ass" artwork, by John Romita, Jr.

to the (heavily censored) action of the trailer:

And rest assured that the movie delivers what the panel suggests it might.

There’s an underlying message or two, regarding the rights or wrongs of vigilante justice, and the extent to which parents consciously mold the psyches of their offspring.

But, “Kick Ass” is, in essence, a superhero comedy.

And therein lies the problem.

As an audience, we’re left conflicted.

Do we laugh at the funny-smart dialogue these kids are spouting, as they hack, slash, and machine gun their way through another bunch of goons?

Or gasp in horror, at the extreme violence being perpetrated by these grade and high-school-age “heroes?”

It’s a tricky balancing act. One which I’m not sure the producers of this film have carried off.

As always, I’ll let you judge for yourselves.

For the record, though, superhero comedy doesn’t work for me.

I take my costumed nuts serious. Especially the gun-toting ones.

But I admit, I did have some nasty fun, with this.


Or whatever.